VMRO-DPMNE presidential candidate Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova sent out a video message speaking directly to the boycott camp – opponents to the name change who sat out of the first round of the elections.

I appeal to you who have your own reasons to stay and home and abstain from voting. The Government forgot about your needs and is working to meet only its own. I also could’ve stayed at home. I had a lengthy academic career and could’ve spent my third age peacefully at home. But I decided to fight, not because I want glory or privilege, but because I’m a rebel with a cause and I believe in law and justice. I will never let you down, you have my word, Siljanovska says in the video message.

The boycott movement grew out of the successful boycott of the September 2018 referendum, which denied popular legitimacy for the name change and forced the Zaev regime to impose it through pressuring the members of Parliament. VMRO-DPMNE largely joined in the boycott then, but now urges the voters to show up and help bring down the Government.

Siljanovska was neck and neck with ruling majority candidate Stevo Pendarovski in the first round of the elections. Pendarovski collapsed in the polls and greatly under-performed the combined SDSM – DUI numbers in the last elections – the 2017 municipal vote. Meanwhile, Siljanovska sees there is room to improve, given that VMRO has also had historically higher tote totals than the 320.000 she won in the first round, and hopes that winning over the angered conservative boycotting voters is one way to get the necessary votes.